Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Living as a Christian Community: Part 2 - Matthew 18:15-35

This week we come to the second half of Jesus' teaching on life as the community of his disciples. While the first half of this teaching section dealt with issues of greatness and the 'little ones', these verses look at how to handle wrongdoing and disputes within the church as well as the necessity of forgiveness.
  • Read Matthew 18:15-20. How does Jesus’ teaching of how to handle disputes or wrongdoing in the church compare with how they have been dealt with in your experience? Do we practice this teaching?
  • Verse 20 is a powerful statement about Jesus’ ongoing presence with the Church. What specific meaning does it take in the context of this larger passage (and verse 19 in particular)? How should Jesus' presence among us affect the way we make decisions?
  • Read Matthew 18:21-35. Jesus’ teaching here is very dramatic. Why is this kind of radical forgiveness so important to God? Is forgiveness something you find difficult? What is your experience of forgiveness within church communities? How well are we living out this central teaching from Jesus?

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